In one of the few day games of the season because of the Martin Luther King holiday, the Sharks won their sixth straight over the Coyotes 4-2 behind some solid goaltending from Antti Niemi and some timely goal scoring. The loss for the Coyotes ended their four-game win streak.
San Jose got the scoring going early in the first period. Patrick Marleau scored nearly four minutes in for his 18th goal of the season. The Sharks would maintain their one-goal lead for about eight minutes before Derek Morris tied things up for his fourth of the season. It was Morris’ second goal in a four-game stretch.
The second period was all Sharks on the scoreboard, although the Coyotes did have their chances. The two Sharks goals came more than 13 minutes apart from each other. Dany Heatley got the first goal and Logan Couture scored with under three minutes left in the period. Heatley’s goal was his 18th of the season and Couture netted his 20th. The Coyotes failed to take advantage of a four-minute power play in the period where they threw six shots on Niemi, but the former Blackhawks goaltender stopped all six. Niemi finished up the day with 34 saves.
The Coyotes got back to within one 12 minutes into the final period. Oliver Ekman-Larsson got his first of what will hopefully be many goals in his NHL career. Phoenix couldn’t build on the momentum of OEL’s first career goal though. Joe Thornton would add an empty netter with 49 seconds remaining to close out the game for San Jose’s second straight win.
Even though the Sharks have been struggling during this month, the Coyotes failed to take advantage of the chances that San Jose presented them throughout the game. Shane Doan had a near miss and both Keith Yandle and Ray Whitney had shots that hit off the post, but there were other chances besides those that the Yotes failed to capitalize on. Not scoring on the two power play chances were a killer and probably ended up being the difference in this game.
Phoenix will close out their four-game homestand on Tuesday against the Nashville Predators. The puck will drop at 7 p.m.